Mpls. hires design firms for Target Center re-do

The Timberwolves and Lynx released new images showing the updated redesign for the proposed $97 million renovation of the Target Center.

The Minneapolis City Council’s Community Development & Regulatory Services Committee today signed off on a staff recommendation that the city hire Architectural Alliance of Minneapolis and Denver-based Sink Combs Dethlefs to design an update of the arena, built by the Timberwolves in 1990.

The firms want to give the building an iridescent metal skin, more windows and a new entrance on the corner of First Avenue and 6th Street.

Council Member Jacob Frey said it’s a vast improvement over the current building, which he likened to an “anthill.”

“You head in there. You’re not really clear where you are. Eventually you come out somewhere, and you’ve got to find your way once again,” Fry said.  “This — the transparency, as well as the visual aids, I think will really enhance the experience for the customer, but also the connection to the street will also enhance the experience for your average pedestrian on the outside.”

City leaders said they chose the proposal because it did the best job of balancing cost with curb appeal.

“The design team really felt that this group wasn’t the most flashy, but could get the job done for the budget that we had,” said Council Member Lisa Goodman.

Minneapolis bought the arena in 1995 and has been trying to shift the arena debt off of property tax rolls. The Vikings stadium deal allows the city to divert hospitality taxes to paying half of the renovation, after the Minneapolis Convention Center is paid off, likely in 2020.

Curtis Gilbert contributed reporting for this story.